Horizons working with farmers to improve productivity

Horizons Regional Council land management staff, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and regional leaders spent time today visiting a farm in Manawatu, following the launch of the Manawatū -Whanganui Economic Action Plan in Whanganui. 

The visit at Ross Humphrey’s sheep and beef farm, near Cheltenham, highlighted the importance of collaboration and tapping into precision and ‘intelligent’ farming techniques for the Region’s farmers, in order to increase on farm profitability and productivity.

Horizons Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI) is one such programme farmers can access to identify opportunities for production improvements on their farms. To date over 640 Whole Farm Plans covering 475,000 hectares of our Region’s hill country have been created by Horizons. Each of these plans has farm scale soil and land resource information that can be used to optimise production in a sustainable way.

Horizons Environmental Manager – Land, Grant Cooper believes there is real benefit in farmers working with Horizons to map soil on their land.

“The information sourced when soil mapping a farm will help identify areas for production improvements while also protecting vulnerable land,” he says.

“We can help suggest suitable alternative land uses plus identify versatile soils on a property.”

Soil mapping can be carried out on any type of farm and is not exclusive to hill country properties.

“Land owners just need to contact our land management staff on 0508 800 800 to find out how we can help them,” says Mr Cooper.

Land Use Optimisation is one of the Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan’s nine identified opportunities. Building on our Region’s natural advantages, specific activities have been outlined to help unlock potential increased productivity, profitability and sustainability. This in turn will add strength to key industries to allow for more resilience in cases such as global price shocks.

Accelerate25 Lead Team Facilitator and Horizons CE Michael McCartney says regional prosperity has brought councils, business, iwi, and key players together for greater political goodwill and the future of our communities.

“The Plan marks a point in time, and provides a foundation for the Region to work more closely with central government,” says Mr McCartney. “The Region’s leaders are committed to working as one team, and to realising a short and long-term vision now and through to 2025.”

The Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan can be viewed at www.accelerate25.co.nz.